Kirana stores new success mantra: Partnering with logistics companies in small cities to maximise returns

Updated: Oct 30, 2019 2:32 PM

Logistics for MSMEs: Logistic companies are playing a major role in boosting kirana stores in tier II and III cities by providing instant and convenient deliveries from stores to the customers in no time.

In a way, logistics companies are revolutionizing the landscape of the traditionally run kirana shops in tier II and III cities.
  • By Abhishek Bansal

Logistics for MSMEs: When online grocery shopping first became fashionable, many wrote obituaries for ‘mom & pop’ stores, or what is popularly known in India as kirana stores. But those obituaries are not about to come true anytime in the near future. Latest data from Bain and Co. states that the Indian grocery market will be worth $1 trillion by 2024 and nearly 60 per cent of that can be attributed to fresh produce like fruit, vegetables and meats, a speciality of kirana stores.

Logistic companies are playing a major role in boosting kirana stores in tier II and III cities by providing instant and convenient deliveries from stores to the customers in no time. In the conventional system of delivering goods from a kirana shop, the store owner needs to look for reliable human resource/s to employ, train and then continually monitor their movements. Despite so much effort being put in, delivery optimization still eludes the small store owners.   But by partnering with a logistics partner for this last-mile connectivity, the shop owners are able to optimize and maximize deliveries with shortest of time lags, all minus associated hassles.

In a way, logistics companies are revolutionizing the landscape of the traditionally run kirana shops in tier II and III cities by connecting the store owners to a much wider network of customers. This partnership creates a win-win situation for the store owner as well as for the logistics resources. Let’s see how.

With a logistics delivery partner, a kirana store:

  • Can avail the opportunity of going online, through a grocery aggregator platform. The store can also meet all kinds of customer demands for delivery – whether, through online order, order on phone or shop physically at the store but have the purchase delivered. 
  • Can add to the number of customers it serves by reaching out to those who cannot visit the store physically or by widening the catchment area it serves which then obviously translates into increased income for the store.
  • Can also reduce its delivery costs. Hiring, background checking, training and monitoring each human resource comes at a substantial cost which the store owner does not need to worry about when partnering with the last mile delivery expert. It also eliminates the store’s dependency on one or a few ‘delivery boys’. 
  • Work more effectively and efficiently during peak or festival seasons. Peak season means more work, more effort and more stress. Where the delivery partner shoulders the delivery schedules, the small store owner can focus more on in-store efficiencies. During the peak season, the latest technologies adopted by logistics players enables Kirana stores to leverage the existing network, technology, and assets in place in order to cater to the heightened demand.
  • Can strengthen its trust factor with its customers every time, the delivery partner makes an on-time delivery with the shortest time lag.  

For logistics players in the business of the last-mile delivery, servicing kirana stores is efficient utilization of resources and boosting their income. Store owners in small cities provide large quantum business to the logistic companies, as these small businesses have large audiences whom they have been catering to since long.

Digital technology is altering the world in ways that were unbelievable even a few years ago. Logistics technologies provide flexible models which allow kirana stores to choose the quantity, type, route, and area of delivery, thereby maximizing their returns.

(Abhishek Bansal is the Co-founder & CEO at Shadowfax. Views expressed are the author’s own.)

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